We Should Have Seen It Coming: From Reagan to Trump—A Front-Row Seat to a Political Revolution

Random. Aug. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780593135150. $28. POL SCI
Seib, executive Washington editor of the Wall Street Journal, has crafted an informative overview of U.S. political history since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Although much of the information detailed is not new, Seib’s accessible, well-written account will allow all readers to understand better the shifting political environment, especially the popularity of Reagan’s conservative ideology in the decades after he left office. Seib emphasizes how the forces that ultimately led to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 had been quietly gathering during the late 20th century, culminating in the Tea Party Movement during the presidency of Barack Obama, as well as the growing sentiment in support of isolationism, nativism, and protectionism that provides the foundation for many actions taken by the Trump administration. Seib also covers figures such as Barry Goldwater and Newt Gingrinch, who both left a lasting impact on conservative ideology as they sparked populist ferment. Consideration is also given to George W. Bush and the War on Terror military campaign launched after the September 11 attacks, as well as the impact of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, with running mate Sarah Palin.
VERDICT An excellent analysis of modern political history.
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